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My Thoughts on the Peak Design Leash as a Travel Photographer

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

Camera straps aren’t the most popular topic, but they do matter. How you carry around your gear matters just as much as the camera and lenses you bring. With travel photography, seemingly minor things like this go a long way.

Although unessential for taking photos, they provide convenience and peace of mind to the photographer. A camera strap could spell the difference between being able to continue shooting or having to buy a new camera. Because of that, every camera comes with one in the box. However, not all camera straps are the same.

Back in October 2019, I was on a short trip to Japan. The weather was starting to get colder with autumn approaching. Because of that, I sometimes found myself wearing a jacket especially when it rained.

As a photographer, I like to experiment with different angles by shooting high or low. However, this requires me to remove the strap from my neck. This was difficult since I had to take off my jacket and backpack each time. That didn’t stop me from getting the shots, but it was quite inconvenient in the dense metropolis of Tokyo.

After that trip, I began researching on the ideal camera strap for me. The usual straps I saw were either the bulky and padded kind for heavy DSLR’s or the stylish ones for compact cameras. As a travel photographer, neither of those suited me. I needed something that was small and light, but would give me easy access to my camera. My research eventually lead me to Peak Design.

Photo from Peak Design Philippines

Peak Design is an American company who design and make products for photographers with an emphasis on practicality and functionality. They are best known for their Anchor Links, which serve as a quick release mechanism. By designing their products around this, they’re able to cater to the needs of different photographers.

The Leash was the model that appealed to me most because it was the smallest one. Aside from being quick release, it came with a slim tripod plate that allowed it to function as a cross-body strap. This was the best setup for me since it prevented the camera from flailing around while walking. It also allowed me to quickly draw my camera as the grip naturally faced my right hand.

After using it on multiple travels, the strap has proven itself to be durable and reliable. Since it’s small and compact, it doesn’t take up much space in a bag. The length was also easy to adjust. My biggest problem is that I have to remove the plate to mount the camera on a tripod. Peak Design also offers a different plate that’s compatible, but it’s not worth the price for me since I rarely shoot on a tripod. Also, it’s not as stylish as a leather strap, but it is discreet, which is good when walking in the city.

One thing that needs to be brought up is the price. Peak Design products aren’t affordable and there’s no shortage of fakes. Going for low cost replicas may be tempting, but it could also be self-defeating.

The purpose of these products is to secure your camera. Even if others look and work the same, there’s less of a guarantee that it’ll work under tougher conditions in the long term. That’s why I view this as an investment. I’d rather spend the 40 USD on a good strap than 1000+ USD to replace broken gear.

However, just because it suits me doesn’t mean it’s good for others. For camera setups weighing close to a kilogram or more, the Leash would be uncomfortable due to the lack of padding. For those who shoot only through a viewfinder or a fixed screen, the quick release mechanism wouldn’t be of much use since there’s no need to remove the strap. If the camera is small enough to be pocketable, then maybe a wrist strap would do. In fact, the basic straps that come in the box would be just fine for most people.

Looking forward, I see myself continuing to use the Peak Design Leash on my X-T3. Practical, compact and durable, this strap has proven itself to be a reliable travel companion that will go a long way.

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